India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said it was yet another “complete performance” from his side in the cricket World Cup after the Men in Blue broke their World Cup jinx against South Africa with an emphatic 130-run victory in a group B match here today.
Shikhar Dhawan smashed a career-best 137 to propel India to a comfortable 307 for seven before the bowlers performed brilliantly to bundle out the Proteas for 177 in 40.2 overs in what turned out to be a rather lopsided contest at the packed Melbourne Cricket Ground.
This was India’s maiden World Cup win against South Africa after having lost in 1992, 1999 and 2011.
“I think more than just the result, it was how we played. Back to back performances by both the bowling and batting units. South Africa are a very good side, so it was one more complete performance,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.
With two wins from as many matches, India now have a very good chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals as group leaders.
It was yet another commendable show by the Indians, who came into the tournament following a string of poor results in the tri-series.
And Dhoni said what was heartening to see for him as the leader was the team executing its plans on the ground.
“What’s happening really well is we are able to execute our plans. I can give fields to the fast bowlers. They are not bowling loose balls. They bowled tight lines and the batsmen had to play big shots to get runs. The amount of effort the fast bowlers are putting in the nets is beginning to show now,” he said.
“The bowlers bowled in good areas, and even (Ravindra) Jadeja bowled very well, not just quick and flat the way he usually bowls.”
The Indian skipper also had words of praise for the team’s ground fielding against South Africa.
“I am very pleased with the run-outs. We usually see the oppositions taking on our fast bowlers in the deep. Mohit (Sharma) and Umesh (Yadav) are quite fast and have good arms,” Dhoni said.